Wrapping Up: 2021 Act 247 Reviews
Posted February 17, 2022
Chester County Planning Commission's Act 247 Review team recently wrapped up the county's 2021 Subdivision, Land Development, and Conditional Use Review Activity and Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan Review Activity reports which were presented at the February Board meeting.
Despite the ongoing challenges caused by COVID-19, Chester County saw increases in almost every development category in 2021, indicating that the county is continuing to grow in a variety of ways. In fact, this was the first year since 2007 that CCPC reviewed more than four-million square feet of non-residential structural square footage in one year!
Overall, CCPC reviewed 188 subdivision and land development plan submissions in 2021 — a 26% increase from the year prior. The number of proposed lots/units for the county increased 28% (with a significant number of new townhouse lots/units), and proposed non-residential structural square footage increased significantly at 185%, with industrial square footage more than quadrupling.
The largest plan submission reviewed in 2021 was the Turnpike Industrial Park development in Uwchlan Township. Other major plan submissions included the Kaolin Re Holdings Corporation development in Elk Township, the Steelworks mixed use development in Phoenixville Borough, and the White Clay Point Age Restricted housing development in New Garden Township.
97% of all plan submissions in 2021 were consistent with Landscapes3, and for the fourth year in a row, at least 25% of all proposed residential lots/units were located within the county's Boroughs and City of Coatesville. CCPC also reviewed four unofficial sketch plan submissions and nine conditional use submissions in 2021, all of which were consistent with Landscpaes3.
In terms of ordinances and comprehensive plan reviews, the county saw a 21% increase from 2020 to 2021, with zoning ordinance, amendment, and map amendment reviews accounting for nearly three quarters. Additionally, CCPC reviewed ordinance amendments from six municipalities which addressed signage regulations in 2021.
Under the Municipalities Planning Code (Act 247) any proposed subdivision, land development proposal or ordinance revision is to be submitted to the County Planning Commission for advisory review. CCPC requires all Act 247 proposals to be submitted through the online Chester County Self-Service (CSS) portal. The CSS portal allows for electronic submissions of land developments, subdivisions, ordinances, and plans, and makes the review submission process more convenient for municipal officials and staff, engineers, and solicitors. Additionally, this process helps to streamline the proposals and limit face-to-face interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.